By: Robert Galbraith
The second murder mystery by Robert Galbraith (pen name for J.K. Rowling) was worth the wait. It came out over the summer and there was some to-do about distribution as Amazon and Hachette Books were still still knee deep in their battle. I opted to wait and avoid the whole mess. Some time after I returned from my trip to Europe I went to my local independent bookstore and purchase a hardbound copy.
I brewed up a big pot of tea and with the pleasure of anticipation slowly opened the book. Many hours later I came up for air - and a much needed bathroom break - and reluctantly put the book down to tend to the daily chores that come with family life.
Galbraith is growing as a writer and his characters are too. I enjoyed learning more about the main characters and their backgrounds. They’re becoming multidimensional and more familiar. They’re also becoming more comfortable with each other which makes the interactions more natural. This is something the author has always excelled at and now is able to bring to these murder mysteries as well.
The story focuses on the book publishing business after the body of a particularly onerous author is found after his last manuscript makes the rounds. A manuscript that is brutal and cruel in its descriptions of people the author has dealt with. That manuscript, which is circulating in London publishing circles, creates quite a stir and more than a few suspects. Galbraith seems to relish taking jabs at the publishing industry and some of the absurdities that go on there.
The plot takes many twists and turns and every time I thought I had it figured out, I was proven wrong. I did not see the ending coming, which is always a nice surprise with mysteries. Nothing takes the fun out of good mystery like figuring it out half way through.
I’m eager for the next one.